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A poetry collection that celebrates Black culture, creativity, and memory.
From Kendrick to Kanye, to a Sunday in Oakland with Frank Ocean’s falsetto in the foreground, Mausoleum of Flowers is still life set against the backdrop of demise. Daniel Summerhill’s sophomore collection grabs fate by the throat and confronts it. What does it mean to continue living when your friends are dying beside you? This collection melds an exploration of spirituality and rebellion with Black tradition. Summerhill’s poems invite the reader near in order to self-excavate and explore tones of loss, love, and light.
About the Author
Daniel B. Summerhill is a poet, performance artist, and scholar from Oakland, California. His collection Divine, Divine, Divine was a semifinalist for the Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize and for the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. He is assistant professor of poetry, social action, and composition studies at California State University, Monterey Bay.
“A writer, who, indeed, ‘may have God’s attention.’ What a blessing it is to see Daniel B. Summerhill render his memory, in grace, in ugliness, and most importantly, in hue. These poems, though new to us, have simmered in season, and in sun. What an amazing Black writer, unafraid to wrap himself in his own language. Summerhill asks questions in his work that, today, I cannot answer, so I must return.” — Jasmine Mans, author of 'Black Girl, Call Home'
“The assemblage of poems in Daniel Summerhill’s Mausoleum of Flowers creates an umbrella of memory through which language becomes the salve, the armor that allows these words to resurrect into something beautiful by living and reliving history. These poems are aware and cognizant of a social condition where silence is not an option; and yet, the poems are tender and loving—aesthetic beauty on the poet’s terms.” — Randall Horton, author of '#289-128: Poems'
“Summerhill’s name precedes him, in the world of these poems, where Black folks are ‘basking in the sun around lake merritt,’ where the speakers ‘bleed & flowers bloom. . . American fruit.’ This is a voice speaking from, not a voice speaking for. A voice declaring ‘i, too, am perennial.’ It is the poet’s eye that redeems, making lists of what is blooming around him: an old Buick’s exhaust cloud, a collarbone forming ‘in a mother’s round belly,’ a Frank Ocean chord progression. Nothing is left out here, not even fear, and everything that remains flowers. Reading these poems—I remember who we are, I notice redemption more. Summerhill muses on the specter of death called America, but in a place called Oakland his verse is ‘very much alive.’” — Joy Priest, author of 'Horsepower'